QSR Volume May Top $50 Billion in 2006

Americans are on track to charge $49.6 billion worth of fast food to their credit and debit cards this year, compared to $33.2 billion one-year ago. The increase is driven by merchant expansion and promotion of card usage, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). McDonald’s has increased payment credit acceptance from 3,000 locations in 2004 to 13,000 in 2005. McDonald’s has also geared up for contactless payments. The average QSR credit card ticket, based on the most recent VISA data, is $10.75. Americans spend about $160 billion per year in quick service restaurants.

2000: $ 1.7 billion
2001: $ 3.7 billion
2002: $ 6.1 billion
2003: $12.9 billion
2004: $22.5 billion
2005: $33.2 billion
2006: $49.6 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com


Mint Technology BOD Adds itravel2000 Executive

Jonathan Carroll, President of itravel2000 has joined Mint Technology’s Board of Directors. Carroll founded itravel2000 in 1994 and currently
serves as president of the company. itravel2000 has grown at a rapid
rate to become Canada’s largest on-line travel retailer. In 2006,
Carroll was recognized in Canada’s annual “Top 40 Under 40,” a prestigious national program celebrating Canada’s leaders of today and tomorrow, and he is regularly featured in the media as a spokesperson for the Canadian travel industry. Mint is a payment solutions company.
Mint is also the first firm in Canada to facilitate and deploy prepaid MasterCard “PayPass” cards.


Card Response Rates Hit a New Low in Q1

Response rates to direct mail credit card offers slipped this year, plummeting to a record low of 0.2%. However, the volume of solicitations continues to hit record highs. For the first quarter, Americans received 1.7 billion credit offers in the mail compared to 1.4 billion last year, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]). The percentage of U.S. households receiving an offer has been holding steady at 71%.

1998: 1.2%
1999: 1.0%
2000: 0.6%
2001: 0.6%
2002: 0.5%
2003: 0.6%
2004: 0.4%
2005: 0.3%
2006: 0.2%
Source: CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)

[1]: http://www.cardwatch.com


Americans Oppose Info Sharing Overseas

A new survey has found that the majority of American consumers do not want US companies sharing personal information with outsourcing companies overseas. The survey, sponsored by the law firm White & Case, also found that 82% of respondents felt that new U.S. regulations were needed to ensure that offshore companies had adequate security and privacy safeguards in place. Fifty-one percent of those US adults surveyed said that they did not want a U.S. organization to send sensitive personal information such as SSN or driver’s license numbers to a local company in another country. Opposition was higher when it came to sharing even more sensitive information: 60% didn’t want their credit or debit card account numbers shared with an offshore company; 64% opposed having their employee records shared; 73% opposed having their banking or home mortgage information shared; and a whopping 83% opposed having their health records shared with a local company in another country.


Gemalto Merger Finally Comes Alive

Axalto and Gemplus International have completed their merger. Further to these actions, Axalto changed its name to Gemalto. This transaction represents 2005 pro forma revenues of approximately EUR1.7 billion (US$ 2.2 billion), operations in 120 countries, large operational centers in the Paris and Marseille areas, and 11,000 employees including 1,500 R&D engineers. Prior to the contribution in kind, Gemplus had initiated the distribution of EUR 0.26 per share to all its shareholders of record as at today’s market close. Gemalto will launch a voluntary public exchange offer for the remaining Gemplus shares at the same exchange ratio of 2 Gemalto shares for every 25 Gemplus shares.


Gold Line Selects Pactolus SIPware

Gold Line, major provider of calling card services in Canada, has selected Pactolus as its exclusive provider of calling
card applications and is expanding its prepaid, affinity and
promotional calling card market penetration with innovative services
based on Pactolus’ “SIPware” Calling Card application and
“RapidFLEX” service delivery platform. Group of Gold Line is a pre-paid
service provider serving over 70% of the Canadian pre-paid market
through its 100,000 points of sale across North America. Pactolus
Communications Software Corporation is a developer of
SIP-based IP voice services.


Paymetric Hires a Receivables Exec

Houston-based Paymetric has hired Michael Bellardine, formerly with JPMorganChase, to the position of SVP/GM of Receivables Solutions. Bellardine joins Paymetric from JPMorganChase, where he was SVP and Manager of Multicurrency Services and grew revenues from $67 million to $100 million in two years. Prior to JPMorganChase, he served as SVP and Business Executive for Treasury and Trade Services at Bank One, where he grew revenues by $11 million in four years. Bellardine has had direct responsibility for the creation of several business payment solutions that facilitated migration from paper to electronic settlements and improved both quality and timing of information flows between related parties. Paymetric, Inc. provides financial automation solutions.


Gift Cards Rank High for Father’s Day

A new survey has discovered that a gift card or gift certificate topped the list as the third most popular gift among dads for “Father’s Day.” The Discover Card survey also found that a meal out at a restaurant ranked as the second most-popular gift among fathers this year. One third of all fathers picked a greeting card as the number one present they hope to receive for “Father’s Day,” showing that simple appreciation is preferred over a big gift. Those consumers surveyed said they plan to spend an average of $31 on their dads this “Father’s Day,” as opposed to the average of $41 they said they would spend on mom for “Mother’s Day.” Likewise, wives plan to spend an average of $43 on their husbands for June 18th, while husbands said they would spend around $63 for their wives on “Mother’s Day.”


GZS Q1 Profits Rise 50%

GZS Gesellschaft fur Zahlungssysteme returned a consolidated profit of around 2.5 million euros before taxes in the first quarter, an increase of around 50% over the same period last year. The results were on sales of 39.9 million euros and total expenditures of 37.5 million euros. GZS also noted that its stockholders signed a contract of sale with First Data in December 2005. The transaction is scheduled to be
finalized in June. GZS processes cashless and card-based payments and
handled approximately one billion card transactions with a face value of
35 billion euros in 2005.


GCA’s EDITH Kiosk Wins an Award

Casino Journal has recognized Global Cash Access’ “EDITH Cashless Gaming Kiosk” with the “Silver Award” for the “Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products for 2005” at the Gaming Technology Summit . EDITH is a compact kiosk placed at the end of a row of slot machines where it allows casino patrons to purchase slot, or ticket-in ticket-out (TITO), vouchers with their debit card. EDITH supports GCA’s responsible gaming Self Transaction Exclusion Program (STEP), which allows patrons to exclude themselves from access to their own funds from cash access devices in the GCA network, or set a daily limit for withdrawal from such cash access devices.


6.8 million Australians Use Online Banking

The Commonwealth Bank’s inaugural “E-Money” survey, an annual index of
electronic banking usage in Australia, revealed that of the 6.8 million
Australians that have used online banking, 85% prefer the
internet to manage their day-to-day banking needs. The survey found
that convenience is the main benefit of online banking for half of all
online users (50%); followed by time savings (29%); ease of use over
traditional banking methods (10%); customers aged 25-34 year olds and
full-time workers were the most likely to use internet banking, while
those over 50 years of age preferred using branches. The most popular
online transaction is funds transfer/bill payment. Electronic services
are the most popular way to withdraw cash, with 85% of those surveyed
using ATM or EFTPOS.


Precidia to Power Shell’s CoolBand

Precidia Technologies has been chosen by Netifice Communications to provide network connectivity to serial equipment as part of Shell Oil Products U.S. “CoolBand” initiative. The program consolidates a wide range of convenience store/petroleum equipment, from payment processing such as Ruby terminals, to tank monitors and video surveillance, onto a single broadband network infrastructure, replacing a VSAT connection. Precidia Technologies designs and manufactures IP access devices for a wide range of industries including retail payments and building automation.